This past Spring Break I decided to take the half-week I had off to go on a West Coast road trip with 10 of my friends, stopping in Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. Although I have driven far distances before, I have never done so with a large group and for multiple days or stops. If I had to do it again there would be a few things I would do again and a few I would do a little differently.
Rent a Car – DO IT AGAIN
In the course of 5 days we drove over 3,100 miles. That is a pretty risky amount for a car that isn’t in tip-top shape. Not only that, but with five people in a car for 40 hours you need to make sure you have enough space to be comfortable as that car becomes your second home for a few days. A group of five of us rented a seven seater car and, after splitting the cost, it came out to be $100 each. Not bad for the security of having a safe, comfortable car to drive across country.
Set Plans – DON’T DO IT
Before our trip, we had all of these hopes and plans of what we wanted to do when we reached our destination that had set times. That was not the best idea because after driving for so long and not getting much sleep, once it was time to go through with those plans, we were exhausted. I would recommend instead making plans once you reach your destination. There is no telling what time you’ll actually reach your stop and what condition you’ll be in, so its much easier to not have set plans.
With such a large group it was much easier for us to rent out a house to ourselves through Airbnb, for cost and space reasons. The reason why I say I would maybe do this again is because you definitely have to research your location and the Airbnb before booking. Our first Airbnb in Scottsdale, Arizona was nice and clean with all of the items we could have needed already provided. Whereas our Airbnb in Venice Beach was not in a great condition and was in a unsafe area, not to mention only had one bathroom for 10 people. I would book through Airbnb again, but I would be more cautious about it next time.
Splurging on food- DO IT AGAIN
On a road trip you are traveling through areas of the US you’ve never been before and might not go to again, so go and try new restaurants! Although saving money by going to the McDonald’s drive-thru might seem appealing, you can eat McDonald’s anywhere! Splurge a little on a sit down meal and I promise you won’t regret it, I felt like half of my stories about my road trip were about the different amazing restaurants I tried!
Ultimately, I would 100% go on this road trip again. I had way too much fun bonding with my friends on the road and in our destinations. Now that I’ve gone through a long road trip I feel even more confident in how to plan my future road trips, and would recommend it to anyone. Driving across country and seeing the US first hand is a great experience, the views are incomparable and totally worth it. If you’ve ever had wanderlust, I would tell you to go for it because travelling is one of the most rewarding things you can do.